Crisp and chewy with an earthy bite; broccoli leaves are becoming one of my new favorite foods. I’ve been using them to make wraps.
Today’s flavor comes from my bacon, lettuce, and tomato (and cheese and pickle) broccoli leaf wrap. Delicious!!
Broccoli leaves are the foliage around the broccoli “flower”, they look a lot like collard greens but have a bit of different taste. As the heat of summer begins to make its way into our daily lives, I love to find foods that help refresh and cool my palate. Broccoli leaves are just one of these foods.
From a culinary perspective, you can definitely use broccoli leaves anywhere you would use collard greens, kale, or any other broad-leafed green veggie. They are great raw, steamed, sautéed, or stir fried. I personally prefer them raw.
Nutritionally, you guessed it; broccoli leaves have many of the same fabulous benefits of their florets and then some. The leaves are higher in fiber and higher in beta-carotene than the broccoli head we are used to eating. They also contain a significant amount of vitamin A and C, more than the floret. Remember that research demonstrates that the flavonoids in broccoli increase colon health and decrease the potential for colon cancer (and other cancers). Broccoli is also high in vitamin C, K, an A. It is beneficial for cardiovascular health and helps lower blood pressure. Studies suggest that sulforaphane, a chemical compound found in broccoli, can also help repair and prevent damage to small blood vessels caused by diabetes. Broccoli also has the amazing ability, due to a unique trio of phytonutrients, to detoxify the body on a cellular level.